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Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated Jun 6, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

36%
26%
16%

Interview Experience  

63%
21%
15%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
19 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Hiring at MSFT is fair, well-organized, and it extracts what we need to know from potential new-hires. It may seem grueling to the candidates, but we get about 6 hrs to determine if you are awesome and can help us move the needle.

Interview Question – In 2005, I didn't know much about replicated systems and how to upgrade a server farm, but now this seems to be common knowledge.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied in-person and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2010.

Interview Details – HR could be a bit disorganized, but the actual interview loop was relatively smooth. Definitely bring your resume as HR is unreliable about this -- even for internals.

Interview Question – Using a satellite photo, tell me how many blades of grass are in a square meter of the turf outside this building.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – The group seemed demoralized and uncertain about their futures.


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through other source - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2013.

Interview Details – While I was working at Microsoft as a vendor, a PM with whom I'd worked approached me to ask if I might be interested in applying for a Senior PM position he would be hiring and for which he thought I would be a good fit.

I applied online and he indicated to HR that he wanted me in the candidate pool. They scheduled a day of interviews in the form of Lync meetings, which I found tricky because I didn't have the benefit of meeting with the interviewers face-to-face.

I made it through the full day of interviews but didn't hear from them for weeks. I pinged my original contact a couple of weeks later and he let me know that the individual members of team with which I'd interviewed couldn't agree on the qualities they were looking for or what they hoped the person in the position would actually do so they couldn't agree that I was the person for the job. Ultimately he let me know that half the team wanted me but the other half were undecided. They opted not to hire the position at all until they could agree on the specifics about the role. I believe they still haven't hired.

Interview Question – My second interviewer led off by asking me "Which domains do you think we should focus on in our solution?" Given 1) my lack of technical expertise in the area; and 2) that I was interviewing for a management position, I thought that was a pretty tough question to start with.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2011.

Interview Details – employee referral lead to informational (1:1) interview.
a formal interview loop was established with 5 different people (peers, developers, managers)
a final as appropriate interview with a senior director for the parent group.

Interview Question – Create the design specifications for a Car.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2013.

Interview Details – They flew me to Seattle and put me up in a super nice hotel the night before. We started the interview process at 11 the next day.

between 11 and 1 we were taken around the Microsoft campus in Redmond as well as given 10 dollars for lunch at their food court area. The concierge was a pretty cool dude and I was really enjoying myself.

After that we had 4 one-on-one interviews with people from microsoft who worked in the positions we were hiring for. Besides having to wait over two hours after to hear if I received an offer, it was a pretty pleasant experience.

Interview Question – None of the questions were all that difficult and they mostly pertained to what I spoke to them about. With a program manager interview if you are confident and have strong interests in something specific, then steer the interview to a that interest. For example, I have a lot of interest with collaboration in China and whenever I brought that up, they used scenarios that had to do with doing business with China. It was great.

The last interviewer asked me to design a calculator, which is a question someone else received in the glassdoor reviews so I would prepare for that one.
  View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

Interview Details – Overall very smooth and streamlined hiring and interview process. The recruiter that setup the hiring process was on top of everything. I had two phone screens followed by a full loop.

Interview Question – Design a scalable system to collect all feedback for the Office product system.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Back in the day, MS had an high entry bar despite the company's constant need for anyone. These days, expect a bunch of puzzle questions and be prepared to spend the day getting probed.

Interview Question – Too long ago to recall   Answer Question


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – The overall experience was really good. I've had other interviews with Microsoft and they've all been great. The structure is always the same:
First contacted by either hiring manager or recruiter followed by a short phone screen to see if the person and the resume fits.

After initial phone screen a "loop" is scheduled with multiple interviews on the same day "on site" at Microsoft. All information about how the loop would work, who I would meet, etc was given in advance. The recruiter and the interviewers were extremely professional throughout the entire process. The Microsoft loop is described in details all over the internet so I will not go into that. I went through six interviews of varying difficulty and details before being handed over to the "asap". Once at the asap I was pretty much told that I had a job if I wanted one and that they really wanted me to join their team - this is probably not general practice so don't expect your last interview to be a "what can we do/say to make you join us"-type of session.

Each interview had it's own characteristics, but they all followed the same pattern: ice-breaker for a few minutes, asking about my past experiences, testing technical ability by a problem solving or design open-ended question of some sort, personality evaluation type of questions, and the final 5-10minutes to answer any questions I might have (and yes, I had questions of my own - you should too).

I was asked not only "management" related questions. There were a few more in-depth technical "problems" to solve. I did not have to do whiteboard coding, but I did have to design programming APIs and break down and try to explain a real-life client-server based architecture. No questions were really unexpected or shook me out of my comfort zone, perhaps that had more to do with my familiarity by then with the Microsoft interview structure than the actual questions - some might find it difficult and unexpected to have to go into such deep technical details when applying for what is considered to be a management position. There was none of the infamous Microsoft "brain teasers" during this interview (though I've had them in other interviews).

Throughout the interview day I had a really good experience. The team was definitely right for me as we "clicked" on most topics, and what turned out to be a seven hour day of interviews felt more like a short lunch - I had fun during the day! The team seemed very enthusiastic about their work and really passionate about Microsoft and the product they worked on and managed to convey that to me through their actions and answers to my own questions.

Interview Question – Like I said in the above text there was no real unexpected question. The hardest one would probably be the question about designing an API from scratch on a blank whiteboard.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There is room for negotiating the base salary and the sign-on bonus. There doesn't seem to be any room for negotiation on the other parts.


2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

Interview Details – I had first round of phone interview with the HR contact. On the phone, she asked me general questions about my experience. She asked me why I am leaving my current job and then also asked why I wanted to work for Microsoft. Once I cleared that, I was called for an in-person interview or the "loop" as they call it. The loop was set up with 4 people and then the last interview was as-needed one. During the loop i interviewed with Group program managers and the engineering manager. I was told if there is a need for as-needed interview it will scheduled for the next day.

My first 4 interviews went well. Each ran over an hour with detailed questions on my job experience. They gave me specific scenarios/situations. A couple of technical questions.
By the time all 4 interviews were done i was exhausted. Be prepared it can be a very long day..

My last interviewer (4th one in the loop) told me i have the final interview the next day. That meant i had done well so far or they wouldnt have let me go ahead.

the next day interview was with a principal engineering manager and that lasted for 45 mins.

I heard from the HR back in 3 business days and I got the job.

Interview Question – Unexpected questions were more like what will you change in Microsoft if you were the CEO and why?
What you dont like about Microsoft?
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I didnt need negotiation because the offer was matching my expectations. They are pretty generous and match the competitors.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied online and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – 1. Submit dozens (or maybe hundreds?) of applications over several months
2. Contacted for phone screens for maybe 5 applications
3. Two phone screens led to in-person interviews
4. In-person interviews are most of a full day, meeting with 4-6 people for an hour each.
5. They have one last interviewer held in reserve at the end of the day, not on your schedule. If the other interviewers judge you to be good enough, this "as appropriate" person (generally the most senior person, probably the final decision maker) will take time to interview you as well. If you don't meet with this "as appropriate" interviewer, you probably were judged to be not good enough to take time with & won't be getting the job. I imagine there are occasional instances where the "as appropriate" person has a last-minute conflict.

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate a little bit on the amount of stock included in the hiring incentives.

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